Following is Jill Bennett’s coming out story. She and Cathy DeBuono are engaged to be married as soon as California’s Proposition 8 is overturned.
The video is 15 min., but you won’t notice it. Please watch the entire thing!
I have to agree that in high school, you should be more focused on your future; what you want to do when you grow up, studying, and participating in extracurricular activities. There is plenty of time to date when you’re older. It was true in my case and for most of my friends.
A native of Warren, Indiana, Jill studied theater at Bradley University in Illinois. She came out to her friends and family when she was 19, her freshman year. She is an extremely talented and intelligent, out lesbian actor, director and producer in Hollywood. She is Cathy’s radio show producer, and not just because they’re engaged. Cathy says Jill knows how to get things done.
It took Jill’s mom awhile to accept her sexuality, but she never apologized for living her life authentically. I don’t remember whether she said the following on The Gloves Are Off on SheWired, or somewhere else, but Jill was in the glass closet for awhile. Her partners weren’t welcome at her mom’s house when she came home. She finally told her mom that if her partner wasn’t welcome, she wasn’t coming. Jill said it took her mom about 20 minutes to call her back and invite her partner.
Sometimes you have to throw down the gauntlet and tell your parents what you will and won’t accept when you’re an adult.
Unlike most people, Jill has 6 parents, the result of two divorces. As you saw in Cathy’s and Lynn’s stories, there was a different process and family dynamic than in Jill’s family, though they both experienced the glass closet.
That’s the biggest reason it’s important to see, hear and read so many coming out stories from different people. Each story is unique, and each person experiences different family situations and processes.
There is no standard operating procedure for coming out.
There are only guidelines to help you navigate your way through it.
Today, Jill is an important role model. She is unafraid of sharing her opinions openly, which makes her a fearless leader for so many women who are afraid to come out.
Her story is powerful and inspiring, and her tenacity and courage are awesome. She is making a huge difference in the world and in the LGBTQ community by being herself and fighting for her beliefs.
She can be seen in roles in recent independent films (And Then Came Lola) and TV and online series (We’re Getting Nowhere, 3Way, Dante’s Cove). Her most recent project is We Have to Stop Now. We fans hope for season 3.
Jill and Cathy have an episode of Real Life: The Musical that will air later in the year on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Jill is working on new projects in independent film, the newest is Crazy Bitches, also starring Cathy.
Have the stories presented so far brought any questions up for you? Is coming out and being gay what you thought, or is it different? Please comment and ask questions below.